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Julian Fellowes Contemplates 'Downton Abbey' Prequel

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood September 28, 2012 at 11:53AM

"Downton Abbey" creator Julian Fellowes is mulling over a prequel to the latest British upstairs-downstairs series.  His idea is an origin story, centering on "the courtship between Robert and Cora." He mused about the history of Lord and Lady Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern and Hugh Bonneville) at a BAFTA screenwriting lecture reported by the Daily Mail:
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Elizabeth McGovern in 'Downton Abbey'
Elizabeth McGovern in 'Downton Abbey'

"Downton Abbey" creator Julian Fellowes is mulling over a prequel to the latest British upstairs-downstairs series.  His idea is an origin story, centering on "the courtship between Robert and Cora." He mused about the history of Lord and Lady Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern and Hugh Bonneville) at a BAFTA screenwriting lecture reported by the Daily Mail:

"It is a fascinating time when the Buccaneers were coming to England and marrying [aristocrats]… He married her purely for the money. I think that is something he came to feel quite guilty about."

Fellowes also hinted at bringing the Downton characters to the stage or the big screen, but any plans will wait until the series has concluded.  "Downton Abbey" has just started its third season on ITV in the UK; impatient stateside viewers must wait until January 2013, which has inspired some protest, in this day-and-date, 'we-want-it-now' era, as to why we can't see the show--which adds American Shirley MacLaine to mix it up with Maggie Smith-- at the same time as the Brits.

This article is related to: Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Julian Fellowes, Television, Television


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.